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I had the pleasure of meeting Scott when I attended When Words Collide this year.  Scott is a funny, charming, engaging dude that had a great time with his experience at the event, and was gracious enough to let me interview him for my podcast.  In fact, he is the first episode.  I feel like I should be apologizing to him.   This podcast was my first one, and sadly, Scott probably suffered from being a guinea pig to my mad experimentation.  That said, he is a very talented writer and very gracious for doing this.

His book Wisconsin Vamp is the topic at hand.    Wisconsin Vamp is a horror comedy about Herb, a nerdy wisconsin boy who somehow finds himself becoming a vampire.  Slowly but surely, his place in his home time, and his life changes around him…as does the body count.   Burtness manages to make me care about Herb, who is a legitimate monster.  In spite of his fading humanity, Herb never leaves his roots behind, even as things fall apart with his friend Dallas.

Dallas was probably my favorite character in the book.  He was the charming, lovable jerk who you liked in spite of yourself.  Small town hijinx, vampiric horror, and the greatest bowling showdown you’ve ever seen is right in those pages.  It’s not the grandest epic you’ll read, but I can say it was one of the most fun reads I’ve had.  Fans of Terry Pratchett or A. Lee Martinez will enjoy Wisconsin Vamp.  I encourage you to give it a try.

Scott also is working on a charity for the month of October, so before you listen to the podcast, read below to see what you can do to help the red cross.

Joshua Pantalleresco:  What is Books for Blood and why did you start this amazing cause?

Scott Burtness:

Vampire Books for Blood started in 2014. I wanted to promote my vampire book, Wisconsin Vamp, and decided partnering with a good charity would be a fun way to promote the book and help a good cause. The American Red Cross was a no-brainer. 1- They work with blood. Perfect fit for a vampire-themed promotion, and 2- Their logo is a giant cross. If ‘perfecter’ was a word, it would definitely apply!
At about the same time that I decided to donate my Oct royalties to the American Red Cross, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge happened. I realized that while one person helping a noble cause was good and all, it would be even better if I could get other authors to do the same thing.
An embarrassing YouTube video, a Facebook page, and four other authors later… the First Annual Vampire Books for Blood was born. We had a ton of fun and raised a few hundred bucks for the American Red Cross.
Now the event is in its second year, and like any good sequel, it’s bigger and better. I created the event website – www.vampirebooksforblood.org – and also opened the event up to Canadian Authors in support of Canadian Blood Services.
The premise is simple: Each participating author pledges to donate a portion of their October royalties to their local branch of the American Red Cross or Canadian Blood Services. Their book is featured on the event site with a link to where it’s sold. They promote the event and their involvement all October. After October 31st, the fulfill their pledge to donate.
Vampire Books for Blood helps vampire book authors find new readers, helps vampire book fans find their new favorite book, and helps support the life-saving work of two great organizations.

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JP:  Very cool.  So what are you working on right now?

SB:   I’m currently working on Book 3 of the Monsters in the Midwest series. The working title is, “the third book.” No spoilers, but book 3 will pick up where book 2 ended and follow Stanley.

For those who haven’t read Wisconsin Vamp or Northwoods Wolfman yet, the series is set in a small town in northern Wisconsin and centers on three friends: Herb, Dallas, and Stanley. Book 1 follows Herb’s awkward transformation from small-town schlub into a vampire, and book 2 follows Herb’s friend Dallas Vinter’s equally awkward transformation from egotistical douchebag into a werewolf. In book 3, Stanley becomes a… you guessed it… zombie. Gotta love the classics, right?

JP:  Indeed.  Finally, what does the W in your name stand for in your twitter handle?  Will I derp myself if it just means writer?

SB:  Wayne. *waa waa* Sorry that was so anticlimactic, but “SWBauthor” is just Scott Wayne Burtness author.

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Thanks Scott!

The podcast is below.  Enjoy.  I promise I will figure out this player thing by the next one.  In the meantime, click the link below.

http://jpantalleresco.podomatic.com/entry/2015-09-25T02_05_33-07_00